Today in film and television: David Milch and Steven Bochco reunite for another top-shelf network drama, Ridley and Tony Scott are developing a diamond trading show for AMC, and the actor who gets to play Bruce Willis' son in the new Die Hard is looking like a premade action hero.
- 18 years after NYPD Blue premiered on ABC, David Milch and Steve Bochco are teaming up again to create a new NBC legal drama that's "set inside DC’s hottest law firm" and centers on a star litigator...with a past. Before NYPD Blue (which he left in 2000 after seven seasons), Milch was Bocho's story editor on Hill Street Blues and wrote an episode of L.A. Law, but the reunion raises questions about the status of Luck, the horse racing drama Milch and director Michael Mann are making for HBO. Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reports says the NBC show "won’t interfere with Milch’s duties" on Luck, which he'll return to after the NBC pilot is completed, with Bochco serving as show runner if it makes it to series. That's something of a surprise, since by various accounts Mann and Milch clashed making the pilot ("[A] smack-down from Day 1," a talent rep involved with the project told The Hollywood Reporter), with Mann supposedly banning Milch from the set. After watching the pilot, they hammered out a power-sharing agreement in April whereby Milch would get the last word on scripts, while Mann has the final say on "everything else, from casting to cutting to music...not a situation to which Milch, the Emmy-winning writer-producer of NYPD Blue and Deadwood, has lately been accustomed." (Not being involved in the editing process is particularly distasteful to him, says a pro-Milch show insider.) In July, Milch switched his representation from Creative Artists Agency, which also reps Mann, to International Creative Management. That should take care of the issue of divided loyalties in any subsequent standoffs with Mann, but Milch could find he's more wanted at his new gig. Deadline notes that when Imagine's Brian Grazer called Bochco and asked him to come discuss the project, he also "asked him whether he could bring his former collaborator Milch with him." He did. If David Caruso can bolt NYPD Blue after one season, David Milch can find a way to get out of Luck before season two. [Deadline]
- Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Thomas Staggs is the odds-on favorite among Disney insiders to replace CEO Bog Iger when he steps down 2015. "I really don't know who else it could be other than Tom," says a Disney source. "The board knows him. He presents nearly as well as Bob." Those outside the company still need convincing. An unnamed "major media investor familiar with Staggs and Disney" questions whether he's right for one of the most visible corporate positions in the world. "In my opinion," the investor says, "he's not a CEO. He's a chief financial officer who they've now given line responsibility to. I don't picture Tom sitting down with the premier of China or a Steve Jobs. I just don't know that he has that kind of gravitas." An executive at a rival media company calls him a "a solid citizen." but adds "his personality doesn't fill the room." The bigger mystery to investors remains why Disney is announcing Iger's departure so far ahead of time. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Ridley and Tony Scott, no longer content just to get rich remaking their own beloved films, are developing a TV series "set in the world of diamond trading" for AMC. That sounds more promising than one of the other projects the network is developing, Low Winter Son, which The Hollywood Reporter describes as a "modern gothic tale of murder, high-level corruption, deception and cold-blooded revenge in which the difference between cop and criminal is anything but straightforward." Sacred Games sounds more intriguing but equally confusing. It's about "he spidery links between organized crime, local politics and Indian espionage that lie below the surfaces of its economic renaissance." Like Rubicon! [The Hollywood Reporter]
- The actor who gets cast as Bruce Willis's son in A Good Day to Die Hard could be stepping into a ready-made franchise. Willis is going start reading with contenders in the next few days and while Fox insists nobody has the inside track, though Aaron Paul, Ben Foster, and Paul Dano have all been mentioned as possibilities. Those connected with the production suggest the role is designed to "open the door for someone to inherit the Die Hard franchise -- much like Jeremy Renner could wind up the new face of Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible series, or Shia LaBeouf in Indiana Jones." Plot details are being kept secret, but Variety thinks "it will be set in Russia, with [Willis] and son fighting some sort of threat." (As for that title: we still like Die Hard Times) [Variety]
- The Coen Brothers have selected Oscar Isaac to play the lead in their independently-financed new folk music film Inside Llewyn Davis. Isaac, like Michael Fassbender today and Adrian Brody in the late-1990s, is at that stage of his career where everybody swears by him, but nobody's really seen him in anything. Tony Gilroy wanted him to take over the Bourne franchise, which went to Jeremy Renner. He was in Steven Soderbergh's Che , Ridley Scott's Body of Lies and Robin Hood, and was touching and pathetic as the just-sprung con in Drive. This could be his big breakout: he's going be singing in a Coen brothers movie. [Indie Wire]
- Woody Allen has changed the title of his upcoming Rome-set movie from The Bop Decameron to Nero Fiddled. Allen said today he was shocked by how few people were familiar with The Decameron "even in Rome." That may be true, but Nero Fiddled is a terrible, difficult-to-say title. The man who made the melodious sounding Sweet & Lowdown and Everyone Says I Love Give us something that sings. [Vulture]